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Am J Clin Pathol. 2000 Aug;114(2):220-6.

Association of Epstein-Barr virus with lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma of the lung in southern China.

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Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Peoples' Republic of China.


Having reviewed the data on 3,663 consecutive cases of primary lung carcinoma in southern China, we found that 32 cases could meet the criteria for lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma (LELC) of the lung. To study the relationship between pulmonary LELC and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, we used in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry techniques to detect the EBV-encoded small nonpolyadenylated RNA (EBER), latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), and viral capsid antigen (VCA) in 32 cases of LELC and 19 cases of non-LELC lung carcinoma. Of the 32 cases, 30 (94%) showed EBER positivity. Of the 30 EBER-positive pulmonary LELC cases, 16 and 7 expressed LMP1 and VCA, respectively. In contrast with LELC, none of the 19 cases of non-LELC lung carcinoma showed EBER-, LMP1-, or VCA-positive signals in carcinoma cells. The results demonstrate that there is a close relationship between EBV infection and pulmonary LELC. EBV infection may have an essential role in the tumorigenesis of pulmonary LELC. EBV latent infection is the main status in pulmonary LELC except for individual EBV entering into a lytic cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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